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Speed limits, noisy vehicles concern Waynesboro residents

April 15, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Trash on streets, noisy vehicles, speed limits, traffic lights, even sprinkler systems in homes were talked about Thursday night at Waynesboro's first town meeting.

Fewer than 20 citizens showed up to gripe about, plead for or cajole members of the Waynesboro Borough Council into giving attention to their issues and concerns.

The idea for the public forum was the brainchild of Councilman Dick George, chairman of the council's street committee.

"I wish more people were here. It's important to express your concerns so there can be some kind of resolution," George told those present.

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Council President Charles "Chip" McCammon said the town meeting probably will become an annual event.

Jerry Flood of 125 S. Potomac St. asked why a four-way stop sign was installed at the corner of East Third and Walnut streets.

George said Third Street residents complained of dangers at the intersection and the need to slow traffic down.

He said traffic surveys convinced the street committee to recommend the stop signs, which the council approved.

George said other intersections are being studied "one at a time."

Concerns of a Third Street resident and others about noisy mufflers and loud radios in cars, a concern echoed by many residents and business owners, brought little response, other than it can't be controlled.

McCammon said the borough's noise ordinance is a matter for police, not the borough council.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said he didn't know if it would stand a court test. It also would be hard to enforce, he said.

The borough would need a decibel meter to determine the volume coming from the vehicle, council members said.

Another issue that drew a lukewarm response was a traffic light at the intersection of East Main Street and Northeast Avenue.

"There's a desperate need for a light there," said Washington Township resident Audrey Smith.

At one time the council considered putting a "simple" traffic light at the intersection, but the state highway department got involved, Hamberger said. The state wanted to include the entrance to Waynesboro Mall as part of the intersection by moving the mall's entrance into to the eastern edge of the parking lot across from Northeast Avenue.

"A simple traffic light turned into a Rube Goldberg," Hamberger said.

Clean streets came up, too.

The council was asked to raise the fine for blocking the borough's street sweeper during the night to $50. It's currently $10.

"What good is cleaning the streets if cars block the sweeper," said Denise Heck, a King Street resident.

"You wouldn't believe the calls we got from the people who got ticketed (at $10)," Hamberger said.

"Well, so what," quipped Heck.

The council was asked if it would consider requiring sprinkler systems in new home construction.

Waynesboro Fire Chief Ron Flegel said Emmitsburg, Md., passed such an ordinance. "It's very worthwhile," Flegel said. "I'm gathering information on it. You may see it here before long."

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